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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Mother’s Day is Sunday and fresh cut, local flowers are bringing a riot of color to farmers tailgate markets right now—peonies, ranunculus, sweet William, bachelor’s buttons, and even poppies. Pick up a bouquet for the mothers you’re social distancing with or buy some for yourself and send a picture to far away moms. We think she’ll still appreciate the gesture. Find bouquets Saturday morning at ASAP Farmers Market at A-B Tech from Carolina Flowers and Lee’s One Fortune Farm or at North Asheville Tailgate Market from Full Sun Farm.

Lettuces and dark, leafy greens are abundant at markets in the springtime, but some farmers also offer more unusual options alongside spinach and kale or among the salad mixes. These greens may be grown or foraged and can offer some variety to your braises or salads. Bear Necessities Farm (ASAP Farmers Market on Saturdays and West Asheville Tailgate Market) and Thatchmore Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market) both have miner’s lettuce. Sometimes called winter purslane, this succulent is prized for adding crunchy texture, mild, sweet flavor, and host of vitamins to your plate. No need to cook it—just add salad dressing and a bit of goat cheese or tuck the leaves into a sandwich.

Sochan is another nontraditional green, also available from Thatchmore Farm. This native perennial is a hallmark of spring among the Cherokee, but not as well known as other foraged finds like ramps or morels. It’s best blanched and sautéed (preferably in fatback) and tastes wholly unique, although comparisons can be made to dandelion greens, spinach, or echinacea.

You’ll find even more strawberries (from Bear Necessities, Full Sun, and Lee’s One Fortune, as well as Ivy Creek Family Farm at Weaverville Tailgate Market) and asparagus (from Root Bottom Farm and McConnell Farms, both at West Asheville Tailgate Market) than in weeks past. Act quick and you might score English cucumbers from Headwaters Market Garden (ASAP Farmers Market on Saturdays). And you can expect to find leeks, spring onions, radishes, turnips, broccoli rabe, pea shoots, and more. Markets also have plant starts, meat, eggs, cheese, bread, honey, beverages, ferments, and prepared foods.

Find a full list of markets open throughout the region. Find contact information and more details about the region’s farms and farmers markets in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

 

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